A 50 cent tax increase for a pack of cigarettes starts today. Emelie Gunn finds out how people in the state feel about this….
AAA expects 42 million people traveling for Independence Day, the most since 2007. Scott Carwile has more….
The state legislator who authored a religious freedom bill comes to the defense of Governor Bobby Jindal who faces a lawsuit from the ACLU. Jeff Palermo has the story…
A pack of cigarettes will cost you an extra 50 cents today as the state’s new tax of cigarettes goes into effect. The state legislature approved a law that raises the tax on a pack of cigarettes from 36 cents to 86 cents. Bill Bailey, owner of Smoker’s Paradise in Pineville, is concerned it could hurt his business.
Bailey says the legislature also increased taxes on e-cigarettes and vapor products.
The American Heart Association’s Louisiana Advocacy Director Stasha Rhodes pushed for the tax increase and she says the money generated from additional tax will go to health care in Louisiana.
Rhodes says she originally wanted the tax above one dollar because many studies show that could get around 36-thousand people to quit smoking. She says she proposed the higher tax because often times tobacco companies and stores can find ways make up for the raised prices.
The four candidates for Governor were asked during a debate at the Farm Bureau Convention what is the biggest challenge they’ve ever faced in their personal life. Senator David Vitter made reference to his prostitution scandal that lead to him apologizing for a “serious sin.” He says it caused issues in his marriage many years ago…:
Jay Dardenne says while he was a candidate for Lt. Governor he was diagnosed with prostate cancer…:
Amite Representative John Bel Edwards says his biggest challenge in life was when he was in Ranger School in the Army…:
Public Service Commissioner Scott Angelle says the biggest challenge in his life was telling his mother he’d witnessed his sister die in a fatal crash as he was following her home from school…:
The American Automobile Association projects nearly 42 million Americans will travel for the 4th of July holiday, the most since 2007. AAA Spokesperson Don Redman says the fact that Independence Day falls on a weekend helps but that’s not the only reason people are out on the road.
Redman says the statewide average for a gallon of regular gasoline is $2.55, which is significantly cheaper than it’s been in the past 5 years and that certainly helps the family budget.
Redman says most people will travel by car to get to their destination and over 4 million people in our region. He advises drivers to plan ahead to avoid the crazy traffic.
Governor Bobby Jindal says he will not back down from religious liberty. Jindal made the statement in reaction to a lawsuit filed by the Louisiana ACLU and others who are challenging an executive order signed by the governor back in May that seeks to protect those who oppose same-sex marriage. Bossier City Representative Mike Johnson supports Jindal on this issue
Jindal’s executive order was signed, after Johnson’s religious freedom bill was defeated in a House committee. The order prohibits state agencies from taking adverse action on a person, business or non-profit if they make a decision based on their religious belief that marriage is a man and a woman. Johnson, who is an attorney, says all the executive order attempts to do is protect religious liberty
Louisiana ACLU Executive Director Marjorie Esman says this order goes beyond the scope of a governor’s constitutional power, because it creates a class of citizens who are protected, which only the legislature can do. Johnson calls the lawsuit frivolous